Even as Japan has announced the deployment of US-made F-35 Stealth fighters, Chinese media has claimed that the home-grown stealth aircraft, the J-20 has completed its research and development phase and is entering the stage of mass production.
The production is slated at two fighters per month and at this rate, China may be able to deploy 36 J-20 fighters by early 2018.
China’s J-20 stealth fighter-bomber Aircraft and Y-20 tactical transport plane will be put into service “in the near future” and this will effectively enhance the PLA Air Force’s capability, Chinamil reported in June this year.
Western media had claimed the J-20’s stealth features have been copied from the American F-35 and the Y-20 transport is a replica of the Boeing C-17 due to the Chinese aircrafts’ similarity in looks to their American competitors.
At present, the J-20 stealth fighter and Y-20 transport plane are undergoing relevant test flights based on schedules, the news report stated.
Beijing has built three operational runways in the disputed Fiery Cross, Mischief and Subi Reefs islands which it claims is for civilian use but in reality, military fighter and transport planes regularly operate to the islands, a report in Philstar.com said.
Despite China's claim that it is not militarizing the disputed South China Sea, rapid construction of hangars in the Spratly Islands indicate that they are ready to deploy military aircraft to these outposts.